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Bucharest Elections Probably Will Have to be Rerun

Bucharest, June 3 (RFE/RL) -- It now looks as though Bucharest residents will have to return to the polls in two weeks to try again to elect a mayor -- because the voter turnout in yesterday's election was too low to make the results valid.

Preliminary information suggested that only 40 percent of voters in the city of 2.3 million voted yesterday, well under the 50 percent required to make a vote valid. Our correspondent says the election will be re-run with the same crowded field of 47 candidates.

Meanwhile, an opposition trade unionist, Victor Ciorbea, claimed victory today over tennis star Ilie Nastase in the Bucharest mayoral race. An analysis of a fraction of votes cast - from 30 polling stations out of more than 1,100 - showed Ciorbea leading with 43 percent of the vote and Nastase second with 32 percent. However, our correspondent cautions that such early figures probably mean very little.

Voters in other cities across Romania also voted in local elections yesterday. In Craiova, a major city in the south of the country, Vasile Bulucea, a former Communist and former minister in the government of late President Nicolae Ceausescu, won election as mayor.